Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Aiguebelle in Savoy
Pen and grey ink, watercolour, scratching out, and showing evidence in the heavy washes of having been worked on late in life
  • image height 210mm,
  • image length 265mm
mounted by the artist on paper watermarked "WHATMAN". A pencil inscription on the verso of the mount, in the hand of Anthony Reed, states that the mount (now cut down) is watermarked 1820; if so, perhaps this refers to a later backing card.
  • sheet, verso
  • “Septr 14th 1780”
  • (perhaps no longer visible)
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “No.48 Augibelle in Savoy drawn on the spot by Francis Towne Septr 4 1800”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Author's examination of the object

Information at Sotheby's, London


Untraced until sold by Kenneth B. Henry at Sotheby’s on 9 December 1964, lot 43, for £350 jointly to the Fine Art Society and Agnew’s (Agnew’s no.J4716, Fine Art Society no.8144). On 27 October 1966 Agnew’s sold it to a collector. It was sold or offered for sale at Sotheby’s on 7 July 1983, lot 101, and sold at Christie’s on 10 (16?) July 1984, lot 100, where Michael Spratt bought it for £900. Later it was sold for £3,000 at Sotheby’s on 12 March 1987, lot 90. It was on sale in July 2009 at Andrew Wyld, who had recently brought it from New York.

Associated People & Organisations

Thomas Agnew & Sons
Christie's, London
The Fine Art Society, London
Kenneth B. Henry
Sotheby's, London
Michael Spratt
W S Fine Art
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 111 as 'Aiguebelle in ditto [ie Savoy]'
94th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1967, no. 55
108th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1981, no. 18
unidentified exhibition, Michael Spratt, 1985, no. 13
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, pp. 54, 60
Thomas Jones ed. Paul Oppé, 'Memoirs of Thomas Jones', The Walpole Society: London, 1951, p. 44


Aiguebelle, in present-day south-east France, is a town on the River Arc, just east of its confluence with the River Isère and a few miles east of Chambéry.

by Richard Stephens

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